Christmas colds and diabetes

Pretty sure everyone I know was a bit ill at some point over their Christmas holiday, whether it was from a bug or self inflicted!  The annoying thing about diabetes is that when you have the cold, the flu or a horrific hangover, you still have to deal with the diabetes and more often than not the illness makes the diabetes worse AND the diabetes makes the illness worse.

One thing that really grinds my gears, is when people are hungover and exclaim, “I need sugar!”, as they reach for their irn bru… because all they are really complaining about is their blood sugar dropping by about 2mmols.  I understand that hangovers are yuck, and I love to complain about them as much as the next person, but bitch please, our blood sugars can fluctuate by >20mmols in one day so pipe down.

Between Christmas and New Year, I was feeling pretty yucky.  I had the horrible cold and sickness, that my family seemed to pass from one to the other, throughout the festivities, but the really bad bit came overnight when I woke up feeling like DEATH.  I felt sick, my head hurt, I needed water but to lift my head was like trying to lift a 10 tonne truck.  When I eventually managed to check my blood sugar, it was 30.2.  For those of you who don’t know, this level is dangerously high.  It should be between 4-10, ideally around 6 or 7.
Luckily I was home at my parents and so I phoned my wonderful mother and father’s mobile phones at about 2am and mam came downstairs to help me, getting me water (with a straw so I didn’t have to lift my head to drink it), a basin and holding my hair back as I was sick.  I had a little cry with her about how shit diabetes is.
There can be days like this with type 1 diabetes and I’d really like us to raise awareness of how hard it can be – it is nowhere near as simple as some people seem to believe.  But I would also like to note that I know how lucky I am – I got better the next day and, since I didn’t feel well enough to go on a night out, spent a lovely Hogmanay with my fantastic family who I am lucky to have!

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I hope everyone else had a great New Year too and are sticking to those resolutions…  My resolution happens to be diabetes related too – trying my hardest to carb count properly and keep track of my blood sugars to figure out my insulin ratios, for once and for all (Also resolved to read a book a fortnight but Mark Zuckerberg went and stole that one!).  So far, so good – I’ve been weighing my foods and keeping track of the carbs on My Fitness Pal and I think I’m managing to see some trends.  I’ll keep my blog updated on that one and I have an appointment at my brand new diabetes clinic at the end of the month so I will hopefully do a wee blog then to say how it all went.

And remember, the next time you have a hangover – you will live – complain as much as you like, but if you’re around me, try not to mention your sugar levels!

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